Reading level: Young Adult
ARC: 345 pages
Publisher: K Teen
Release date: August 28, 2012
Series: Elemental #2
Source: ARC sent by Publisher
Reviewed by: Lili
Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.
Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.
Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.
More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake -- this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.
Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.
The fuse is lit…
I had incredibly high expectations for this novel because I loved its prequel so much, so I’m beyond happy to report that Kemmerer completely blew me away with this one. As much as I loved its prequel, SPARK was even better than STORM. This series promises to continue getting better and better. After all, we’re talking about a boy with an affinity for fire. How could this book not be hot?
I don’t even know where to begin with this review! This book focuses on a different Merrick brother, Gabriel. He’s so used to doing everything with his calm, level-headed twin named Nick. But Nick develops a sudden interest in a girl, so Gabriel is feeling more alone than ever. He inadvertently seeks friendship in a brainy sophomore named Layne before realizing that there’s a lot more to her than what he originally thought. And she stands right beside him as both of their worlds slowly spiral out of control as an arsonist begins to attack their town.
It was really interesting to watch Gabriel’s character development. If you read the first book, which I now insist you do, you’ll know that he’s arrogant, though his family is very important to him. While Nick would be the one beating girls off with a stick, Gabriel would be the one welcoming their advances and egging them on. But in this book, we learn a lot more about his character and realize that first impressions aren’t always true. He’s deep and complicated in ways I never would have imagined. And most importantly, he was lonely and dissatisfied with his life. He wanted to find a way to help others, but never could because the fire that fueled him was uncontrollable.
The other characters in the book--all the same with the addition of Layne, her family, and her tormentors--grew exponentially. Their development is promising and I’m eager to see what else we’ll learn about them in the next book in the series. Since it picks up only days after the prequel ended, the series was easy to follow and you could easily appreciate the plot developments.
This book will satisfy anybody who picks it up. It has a really nice romance, an amazing plot, a slight mystery, family bonding, family troubles, and an amazingly hot male lead to tie it all together. It’ll make you beg that the May 2013 release date for SPIRIT get moved up. Though Hunter clearly is not a Merrick brother, Kemmerer still has me on the edge of my seat begging for more.